What’s the Future of Mobile Social Computing?

Objectives: This was a study for a major computer manufacturer with a one-line brief – what’s the future of mobile social computing.  Now that’s a challenge for anyone!  We believed that the future won’t be defined by the majority, it will be determined by a small group which right now are busy working to change their world. It is this 2% factor we wished to capture learn and extrapolate from and then put into the context of mass market, adoption.

Who we met: So we looked at leading-edge users, defined more by an attitude than a demographic – what they do in life, their interests and how they intersect and use information and communications in this case. They were spirited, articulate young men and women who came from all walks of life.  We teased out their thinking, their art and their desires for innovation.

Methodology: We conducted detailed Ethnographies in their homes and outside, an online Blography which had themes on which the group was made to write up blogposts, and Group Workshops with leading-edge youth. This was supplemented by a Learning Journey designed to understand the eco-system within which they work, play, live, love and compute. We met the “friendly neighbourhood computer guy”, immersed ourselves in retail, opened our minds to the future by visiting management schools, and had informal groups workshops with leading edge youth where our Clients were co-creators and active participants.

Outcome: Deliverables were stories about their lives and usage patterns, along with an emerging themes/insights document. Done in early-2008, one of the opportunities this study identified successfully, was an iPad-like device!  As with most Client projects, we can’t reveal much more :).